Working Girl

After Merrily Kurtz graduated from high school, she began working at a local department store.

Well, every girl in town almost worked in Meyer and Franks.  My first job was J.C. Penney’s. I went to a business college for awhile and got some training that way and  improved my typing.

Eventually, Kurtz was hired by Meyer and Franks, but by that time the country was at war.

Just outside of the building in the next block they (the military) had their stand where the people came up for the bond drives and you know encouraged people to sign up and they had famous people come and I remember seeing the three sisters… the Andrews Sisters I guess it was, you know, and you would go out and see that stuff and hear that “Rah rah.”

The photo comes from the collection of Merrily Kurtz Hewett.

Moving Around

Merrily Kurtz was born in Portland and lived in the Laurelhurst District as a young child, but because of the depression her family moved around the metro area a lot when she was growing up.

We moved out to the logging camp (east of Portland). My father worked there with my grandfather, his father-in-law, and then we came back into Portland and then they bought the house in Multnomah and we lived out there several years. My mother died out there from diphtheria. After she died, Dad tried to keep the home going, but it didn’t work. And so he asked my grandmother if they would like to take my brother and I, and they said they would. So we lived in Grand High district for a year or two, and then we moved out to the country. I went to school in a one-room school for awhile and then graduated from grade school and went into high school at Sandy, Oregon, and graduated from there.

This photograph shows Kurtz’s mother and grandmother. It comes from the collection of Merrily Kurtz Hewett.